Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London

Contemporary History and Politics

This interdisciplinary Master's degree in history and politics lays a strong emphasis on the critical analysis of the recent past, giving you specialist knowledge of particular regions and themes. You will study the complex interplay between national, international and global political, social and historical forces that have produced the contemporary world, and develop the approaches, techniques and skills of the professional historian. The introductory compulsory module explores the methodological, conceptual and theoretical background necessary for historical study at postgraduate level. It also considers specific topics and questions in contemporary history and politics. You will undertake training in research skills to prepare you for researching and writing a dissertation on the subject that most interests you. You can choose from an impressive range of option modules covering a wide sweep of political ideas and systems, historical periods and geographical places. Topics include the post-war reconstruction of Europe, Islam and the politics of fundamentalism, American global supremacy and foreign policy, national and transnational structures for ensuring global order and justice, and the rise of China as a superpower, among others. **HIGHLIGHTS** - Arts and humanities at Birkbeck are ranked fifth best in London, 18th in the UK and 87th globally in the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject. - In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), History at Birkbeck was ranked sixth in the UK for the percentage of our research deemed world-leading or internationally excellent. Of our eligible staff, 94% submitted research, and we achieved 100% for a research environment supporting world-leading and internationally excellent research. - Our Department is home to thriving student societies and a number of affiliated research centres that actively run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research. These include the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, the Raphael Samuel History Centre and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities. - We are also at the heart of academic London with access to world-class research resources. We are five minutes' walk from the British Museum and the British Library, and the Institute of Historical Research - with its internationally renowned library collection and seminars that you can attend - is nearby. The Museum of London is a short tube ride away. - The Eric Hobsbawm Postgraduate Scholarship fund offers a full fee-waiver for Home, EU and Overseas Master's students in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology (part-time awards are pro-rata). - Birkbeck Library has an extensive history collection, including the major specialist journals, and access to online materials.

Entry requirements

MA: Second-class honours degree and references. We also offer a one-year Graduate Certificate in History, which can be used as a conversion course if you want to study history at postgraduate level but have a degree in a significantly different discipline.

Course modules

For information about course structure and the modules you will be studying, please visit Birkbeck's online prospectus.

Assessment methods

Four essays of 5000-5500 words each and a dissertation of 15,000-16,000 words. Assessment in option modules offered through the Department of Politics includes essays and examinations. Every module has an attendance requirement, so you will need to attend at least 60% of classes in order to pass.

Qualifications

Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MA Full-time October 2019 8,350 per Whole course (EU) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 15,200 per Whole course (International) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 8,350 per Whole course (Northern Ireland) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 8,350 per Whole course (Scotland) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 8,350 per Whole course (England) 1 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 8,350 per Whole course (Wales) 1 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 8,350 per Whole course (Wales) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 8,350 per Whole course (England) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 15,200 per Whole course (International) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 8,350 per Whole course (Scotland) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 8,350 per Whole course (EU) 2 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 8,350 per Whole course (Northern Ireland) 2 Years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Bloomsbury Campus WC1E 7HX London

Get in touch

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Key information

Contact: 
Department of History, Classics and Archaeology
Telephone number: 
02076316268